Sustainable Growth Task Force Community Meeting
The Sustainable Growth Task Force, a group appointed by Mayor Gorton to create an objective framework to drive conversations about responsible growth and long-term land-use decisions in Lexington-Fayette County, including the Urban Services Boundary, will be presenting their work to the public and collecting input on Monday, July 19th at 6pm via Zoom.
The Task Force was created by the 2018 Comprehensive Plan, Imagine Lexington, which recommended that we do not expand the Urban Services Boundary but that we do develop an objective, data driven framework to evaluate our long-term land use decisions moving forward.
The Task Force and consulting firm Stantec have examined:
- Existing land-use conditions within the Urban Services Boundary, which includes an accounting of existing land available for for residential, commercial, office, and industrial development uses;
- Economic and population trends to inform our needs going forward;
- Revenue impacts of different types of land uses (for example, how much residentially zoned land vs. office zoned land can contribute to City revenue); and
- Priorities and goals and objectives set forth by the community in the 2018 Comprehensive Plan and how different approaches to development can achieve those goals
Based upon the study of the data points above, the Task Force has been working to develop land-use scenarios which would provide different ways of utilizing our existing land inside the USB to better understand and demonstrate the long term impacts these types of uses can have in our community.
Considering all of this information together, the Task Force is developing an objective, transparent, and reliable framework to inform the decisions our community makes about the Urban Services Boundary and other long-term land-use policies and decisions moving forward. That way, when we have discussions about the Urban Services Boundary as well as what we need to do here in Lexington to meet our housing and commercial needs, we will have data, research, and objective information to help us look at where our community stands, what policies we need to put in place, and what will help us reach out overall goals.
On Monday, July 19th at 6pm, the Task Force is hosting a public input session for community members to learn more about this process as well as provide feedback on the framework being developed to guide these important conversations.
At Fayette Alliance, we believe that in order to grow Lexington sustainably and equitably, we must maximize development of our vacant and underutilized land inside the Urban Services Boundary, which is close to existing infrastructure, jobs, and amenities. We must utilize our existing resources to meet our community’s needs before we look outside the USB to our productive farmland, and as we continue to work for a balance between our growing city and our rural economy. The research and the data tells us this is the most responsible way forward, and that we have enough land inside the USB to meet our needs in Lexington. Further, efficiently using this land will help us to meet the demands for more housing options, diversify housing types, increase affordability for all, and create more walkable, accessible neighborhoods that enhance our quality of life and our economic growth.
The Goals and Objectives of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan reflect this vision – to focus on maximizing development inside the USB, on our underutilized commercial corridors, create a diversity of housing options, incrementally increase density, increase accessible transportation options, and promote equitable access to both housing and transportation while we do so.
It is critical that any framework guiding an evaluation of long-term land-use processes focus on the community goals that were set forth in Imagine Lexington, and helps us to assess what we have inside the USB through an objective, reliable, and repeatable process. Over 10,000 community members offered input in the 2018 Comprehensive Planning process, and the result of that work, Imagine Lexington, should be our guidepost for policy and development moving forward.
The Sustainable Growth Task Force study and evaluation framework should inform the work leading up to the Comprehensive Plan process every 5 years, and updated information about how much land we are using (residential, commercial, office, and industrial) should be available to the public on an annual basis, so all of our community members can be educated on where we stand and what our needs are as a city moving forward.
Join us at the Public Input Meeting on Monday, July 19th at 6pm via Zoom, provide your input on the importance of sustainably and efficiently utilizing our land inside the USB, focusing on and supporting the Goals and Objectives of the 2018 Comprehensive Plan, and responsibly and equitably growing our city into the future. If you can’t attend, check out the Sustainable Growth Task Force website and email the consultants to provide your input!